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LES/East Village Recommendation

Hi all,
I am coming to New York from Toronto with my husband to celebrate our 1st anniversary in 3 sweeks, from June 18-21. We are 28 and 30. I have done most of my planning regarding meals, and am having difficulty choosing a restaurant for Saturday night. I want to eat in the East Village or LES and go out to a bar in the general vicinity (willing to cab, walk etc.) either before or after dinner, depending on where/when we decide to go. I was thinking of Death & Co., Mayahuel, or PDT for drinks.
I was thinking of one of the following and would like advice as to which one to choose:
Yerba Buena, The Orchard, JoeDoe, Freemans, or Motorino (yes, I know they are different, which is why I am having trouble deciding).
We are going to Craft on the Friday night and Scarpetta on the Sunday. In light of this, which of the above do you suggest? I am also free to other suggestions. I was also thinking of Hearth, but I understand that the chef used to work at Craft - is the style/food too similar? I know I was reading about the hen of the woods mushrooms etc. being similar.
Thank you!!

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Scarpetta
355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

Yerba Buena
23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

JoeDoe
45 East 1st Street, New York, NY 10003

Mayahuel
304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

Motorino
349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

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  1. For my birthday 2 weeks ago husband I did Angels share, PDT, death & Co then dinner at Degustation.
    Was wonderful
    If I had to skip one it would be PDT though

    1 Reply
    1. re: Asumnuthin

      Degustation is a very good suggestion.

      I think I would start out with an early drink and snack at Death & Co., then do the ten course tasting at Degustation (only $80!), and then if I was looking for a post-dinner destination, I'd either have a late reservation at PDT already on the books, or try my luck at Mayahuel or Cienfuegos, knowing there could be a bit of a wait as it is Saturday night.

    2. I'm a big fan of Yerba Buena. Freeman's is good but can get very crowded. Death & Co is an excellent choice for drinks, but I've been reading good reviews of their food too (I didn't even know they served food). Immaculate Infatuation has a thorough review of the food there. Obviously, the drinks are amazing. Happy eating/drinking!
      ______
      http://www.eveats.com

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      Yerba Buena
      23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

      1. Since this is for an anniversary, I wouldn't want to wait an hour or two for dinner, which is what will probably happen at Yerba Buena, Freemans, or Motorino, since they are all really popular and don't take reservations.

        Note: Death and Co is very popular so I'd head there around 6pm before dinner (but try the mac and cheese and/or the taleggio and grape flatbread), and then I'd try to make a late reservation for PDT. Otherwise, you'll find it very difficult to get in since it's so small. Mayahuel is a bit larger since it has two levels. I'd also consider Cienfuegos, which is just down the block from D&C, and also very good, and like Mayahuel, quite a bit larger than PDT. Both PDT and Death and Co's popularity make it really difficult to get in on weekend nights.

        In any case, it's not like dinner where the host can easily check up on a party and extrapolate when they will vacate the table. Some parties will do a single round of drinks, others will order round after around, not leaving until last call. Any "time estimate" to be seated is rarely accurate. Most of these places will take your name and cell phone number, and you can leave the area and wait for a call.

        Craft and Scarpetta are both very good, and yes, Hearth is very similar to Craft, so I'd skip it and go the other way, with a totally different cuisine. Perhaps Spanish, Japanese, something else? Degustation, Prune, Kyo Ya, Pylos? They all take reservations, and I'd call ASAP to lock down a reservation since you'll be dining on a Saturday night in the summer which is also prime tourist season, graduation season, wedding season, etc.

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        Scarpetta
        355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

        Yerba Buena
        23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

        Mayahuel
        304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

        Cienfuegos
        95 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

        Motorino
        349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

        7 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          Both Yerba Buena locations take reservations on opentable.com.

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          Yerba Buena
          23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

          1. re: D...DF

            Last time I walked past the EV Yerba Buena, there was a note on their menu that they only took reservations Mondays through Wednesday (or something similar). I just checked the EV location on OpenTable for Saturday night for 2 on 6/19 and came up empty-handed.

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            Yerba Buena
            23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

            1. re: kathryn

              Interesting, thanks.

              1. re: D...DF

                Thank you for the responses! Good to know which restaurants take reservations/which do not. Thanks for the suggestions on how to time the evening as well.
                Would Degustation be doable for someone with dietary restrictions? My husband does not eat meat or shellfish - just vegetarian and fish. This is why I have some more limited choices than others. Sorry, I probably should have mentioned that in the original post. The menu at Pylos looks good (enough fish suggestions etc).

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                Pylos
                128 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                1. re: joavka

                  Degustation does not have a large menu and given the no meat and no shellfish requirement, I would do Pylos instead. Call to make a reservation soon, they are pretty popular.

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                  Pylos
                  128 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                  1. re: kathryn

                    Thanks! That's what I thought.

              2. re: kathryn

                Kathryn, although they don't technically take reservations, I have called relatively last minute several times and they have been willing to let me make one. I think I've generally been looking for the early side though, maybe 7 or 7:30 but I was surprised as it has always been on the weekend.